Saturday, November 01, 2003

30 October 2003
Lesson Learned: If I was to make a blanket statement about certain age groups, I'd say that 8th graders were butt-heads.
But it isn't very nice to deal in blanket statements.

Well, today I was at a different junior high. I did 7th grade English and 8th grade social studies. The 7th graders were cake; the teacher had them take a written assessment which took up the entire class period. The 8th graders had a multiple choice test which only took them 25-30 minutes to do. Let's focus on them for a moment.

First of all, they were very loud. They talked, made noises and stupid comments. I guess they just want to show everyone else how clever they are, and you remember how clever you were at that age, right? Yeah, they were that un-clever. Enough students in both classes were special ed kids, so I had an aide to help out. I was also fortunate in that the teacher had the foresight to have the aide escort them to another room to take the test. So, I only had 25 kids to myself. Heh-heh-heh. One student commented that since there is a sub, she could now goof-off. Like yesterday, I had very little to say, but had to fight to be heard. Let me rephrase that; they had to be reminded to respect me and my authority ;-). Again, I did the old "quiet now or quiet later" thing, which, like yesterday, made some settle down and a few push harder. So, I put up my check marks, which got this group worried and quieter. A few asked if they could get rid of the check, to which I firmly replied, "no." At the end, when one kid loudly remarked on the unfairness of it all (ie: why should he stay after when he didn t make any noise), the rest of the room saw fit to tell him to shut up and just do it. Hah! At least they discovered it is best to do as the sub says. Most of them saw that I meant business when I sent a kid outside to finish the test and called security to check up on a girl who had been gone for 10 minutes, supposedly to the bathroom. It doesn't take you that long to pee. To be fair, I told them they had my permission to tell their teacher what an evil-mean sub I was.

As you could imagine, I was a bit wound up after school, so I went to the gym and lifted weights for an hour. Then, with the evening being so nice, no smoke or ash, I went for a nice 3.5 mile walk after dinner along the cliffs. While I was walking back to the car, I looked at the dark hills and the twinkling home-lights on one side and the ocean on the other and thought how lucky I was to be living in Santa Barbara.

Tomorrow I'm a special ed teacher at the old junior high. I've done this class before, so hopefully it won't be too bad. I don't have very high expectations, as it is Halloween and the kids will be dressed up. I hope you are all happy where you are and have nice tomorrows to look forward to, too.


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